Current and former leaders, including Alberto Fernández and Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, have added their names to an ever growing list of politicians calling for an end to political and legal repression of journalists and the founder of Wikileaks.
Assange was supported by the influential community in an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other ministers of the government.
RT reports: 167 ministers, former heads of state and parliament have now signed the letter. It is addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and warns England that the Wikileaks founding member is being extradited to the United States of violations of domestic , foreign and human rights laws.
Other famous names include Jeremy Corbyn, former Labor Party leader, Jose Luis Zapatero and former Spanish Prime Minister Ernesto Samper, Lula da Silva and Dilma Roussef, former Colombian President Evo Morales and ex-Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
Lula himself, a former political prisoner, has said that “If the democrats of the World, including all journalists, lawyers, unionists and politicians are not courageous enough to stand up for Assange so that he isn’t extraditable, it means that there are many [of] democrats who are liars out there.”
UK MP Kenneth MacAskill, a former lawyer and Secretary of Justice of Scotland, described the matter as being a ‘political, not legal crucifixion,’ aimed at ‘entering and revealing the facts.’
Drawing on the risky precedents any extradition would have set for journalists worldwide, the right organizations like Amnesty International, The Council, The American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch have long defended Assange’s amnesty.
The petition of Amnesty International calling for an end to the extradition proceedings earned more than 400,000 signatures. The group also expressed disappointment that its foreign oversight agencies are not allowed to attend the hearings.
In August, however, the support was dramatically increased because the Assange extradition trial languishes in bureaucratic and judicial purgatory with frequent technical difficulties and postponement caused by potential Covid-19 infections among legal teams. The Assange community originally published an open letter.
“The common and ambiguous existence of Julian Assange allegations and crimes mentioned in this indictment are alarming, as many of them relate to investigative journalism activities in Europe and beyond,” reads the letter.
The extradition trial of Assange begins at the Old Bailey in London. Should the judge rule against him, he will presumably be transported across the Atlantic where, in addition to potentially aiding Chelsea Manning in hacking government computers, he was prosecuted under the Treason statute for handling state secrets and sensitive information.